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->''"Greetings, my friends! You are interested in the unknown. The mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing you the full story of what happened. We are giving you all the evidence based only on the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, faces. My friends, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Can your heart stand the shocking facts of the true story of Edward D. Wood Jr.?"''
--> -- '''Criswell'''

''Ed Wood'' (1994) is a biopic directed by Creator/TimBurton about the career of [[Creator/EdWood Edward D Wood Jr.]], generally acknowledged as being the worst film director in the history of Hollywood. It focuses on a brief period in Wood's life, going from his early days of putting on terrible plays, to the completion of his magnum opus ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace''.

Despite being a movie about a terrible director, the film is notable for portraying Wood as a highly sympathetic character, helped immensely through Creator/JohnnyDepp's portrayal of Wood as a wide-eyed, endearingly optimistic naif. Wood's experiences also echo those of most artists, and the film depicts Wood struggling to retain his artistic vision (as myopic as it is) despite interference from various, unlikely financial backers. It also deals with Wood coming to terms with his own closet transvestism.

This film is also notable for its depiction of the friendship between Wood and fading Horror star Creator/BelaLugosi, memorably played by Martin Landau. Landau would go on to bag a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

The film was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and was the first of their three "Anti-Great Man" movies, followed by ''Film/ThePeopleVsLarryFlynt'' and ''Film/ManOnTheMoon'', about Creator/AndyKaufman.

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!!''Tropes'':
* AdaptedOut: The movie makes no mention of Alex Gordon, who co-wrote ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' with Wood. Nor does it mention ''Film/{{Jailbait}}'', a thriller also co-written with Gordon that Wood made between ''Film/GlenOrGlenda'' and ''Bride of the Monster''.
* TheAllegedCar: Wood's car, complete with dieseling effects at shutdown.
* AssociatedComposer: Averted. This is one of only two Creator/TimBurton films that Creator/DannyElfman did not score (the other is ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'').
* BadBadActing: This being a film about the life and work of Ed Wood, you can expect plenty of this.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: Bela and Ed Wood's friendship started with Bela being flattered by Ed's enthusiasm and admiration for him as an actor. What cemented it was despite how bad Ed's films are, he was willing to do it to at least help Bela get work.
* BeYourself: The point of the film is basically "love what you do, do what you love". Yeah Ed may be bad at making films, but it's a passion he undeniably loves doing and, even with all the setbacks, he still plows on.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't call Bela "[[Creator/BorisKarloff Karloff's]] {{Sidekick}}". In fact, don't mention Boris Karloff at all.
** Ed does not like ExecutiveMeddling.
* CampGay: Bunny.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Ed Wood, through and through.
* DeathByAdaptation: Bela's wife Lillian was quite alive when Ed offered Bela work. In real life, Bela turned down Ed's $500 offer, but Lillian influenced him to accept the role in ''Film/GlenOrGlenda'' for $1000.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: As a tribute to Ed Wood's movies. This creative decision met [[ExecutiveMeddling a lot of resistance from the studio suits]].
* {{Determinator}}: Wood is, if nothing else, a man of unparalleled drive and ambition, not letting anything up to and including complete lack of budget, dead actors, reluctant sponsors, or [[GiftedlyBad sheer lack of talent]] get in his way of portraying his artistic vision completely faithfully.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Ed towards movies.
* DoingItForTheArt: In-universe, a big reason of why Ed Wood grabs the audience's sympathy is his conviction that what he is doing is Art with a capital A. Being played by Creator/JohnnyDepp helps too, obviously.
* DrugsAreBad: Lugosi's drug addiction.
* ExecutiveMeddling: In-universe: Ed Wood has to give in to the demands (sometimes reasonable, sometimes stupid) of whoever gives him the money for his pictures. [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] during his meeting with [[spoiler:Creator/OrsonWelles]], who suffers from the same problem.
* FatIdiot: Although the real-life Tor Johnson may not have been similar to the lumbering mooks he played in Wood's movies, this film portrays him as particularly dimwitted.
* GiftedlyBad: TheMovie of the trope.
* GoingColdTurkey: Morphine withdrawal is not pretty.
* GracefulLoser: No degree of failure can undermine Wood's artistic ambition.
* HappilyEverBefore: It ends at the premiere of Wood's "masterpiece" ''Plan 9'', thus not cutting into his decay into exploitation, porn and alcoholism.
* HistoricalInJoke / GeniusBonus: Welles complaining about having to cast Charlton Heston as a Mexican is a reference to ''Film/TouchOfEvil''.
* HypocriticalHumor: Before Bela arrives to shoot ''Glen or Glenda'', Wood tells the rest of the team to try not to be star-struck and just treat him like a normal guy. Once Bela actually enters, Ed gleefully shouts his name and races over.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Vampira is portrayed as something of a snob, but one can't help but see her point about not wanting to feature in an Ed Wood film.
* {{Keet}}: Ed Wood.
* LargeHam: Creator/BelaLugosi is just as hammy when played by Martin Landau as he was in Ed Wood's real films, especially the "''POOOOL DE STREEENK!!! POOOOL DE STREEEENK!!!''" monologue in ''Glen or Glenda''.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: On the scene when Loretta wants Ed to choose a dress, he can'd decide, so she says to choose which one, the red or the green. Ed asks the director of photography to choose the red or the green dress, but he says he [[DeliberatelyMonochrome can't see the colors.]] And not because the movie is in black and white, but because he's colorblind.[[note]] Bill Thompson, Ed Wood's real director of photography, actually was colorblind, and only shot films in black and white.[[/note]] The look on Wood's face is priceless.
* MagneticHero: Despite his films being bad, Ed attracted a close knit crew willing to stand by him - bordering on ManipulativeBastard.
-->'''Bunny:''' How do you do it, Ed? How do you convince all your friends to get baptized just so you can make a monster movie?
* MistakenForGay: A RunningGag. Each time Ed Wood's transvestism is brought up, he has to explain that he is "not a fruit" and "loves ladies".
--> '''Vampira''': I thought you were a fag.
--> '''Ed''': I'm not a fag, just a transvestite.
* [[invoked]]MoneyDearBoy[=/=]AwesomeDearBoy: Bela Lugosi's motivation for starring in Ed Wood's flicks goes from earning a quick buck to rediscovering the sheer joy of acting.
* MST3KMantra: Wood attempts to invoke this in regard to the flaws of his films. It falls flat, since there's something of a difference between telling audiences not to worry about minor plot holes or technical problems, and telling them not to worry about obviously fake sets and unexplained day/night transitions.[[invoked]]
* {{Nepotism}}: The meatpacker whom Ed gets to produce ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' puts his son in the lead role.
* NiceGuy: Ed is extremely generous and goodhearted, desperately trying to help his idol get back into the limelight.
* NoodleIncident: "If it hadn't been for these men... I don't know... how I would've... survived."
* [[invoked]]NoBudget: Par for the course for Ed's movies.
* OffTheShelfFX: Among other things, the infamous flying saucers from ''Plan 9''.
* PhonyPsychic: Criswell.
* ThePollyanna: Ed Wood, again.
* PrecisionFStrike: See "BerserkButton" above.
* [[invoked]]ProductionPosse: Each new Ed Wood film is made with more or less the same cast and an unchanging crew.
* ProfessionalWrestling: Ed and friends attend a match, leading to Ed recruiting Tor Johnson for ''Bride of the Monster.''
* RealPersonCameo:
** Conrad Brooks, an actor in Ed's company played in the movie by Brent Hinkley, himself appears as a bartender when Wood [[spoiler:meets Orson Welles]].
** Gregory Walcott, the lead of ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'', shows up as a potential backer of ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' in the second go-round of fundraising.
* RunningGag: Ed assuring people that Bela Lugosi is still alive. Though it ultimately turns serious when it happens again after Lugosi really is dead.
* SameLanguageDub: Creator/MauriceLaMarche, who is well-known for his Creator/OrsonWelles impression (including in ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain''), dubbed over [[Creator/VincentDOnofrio Vincent D'Onofrio]]'s dialogue, purportedly because Burton was dissatisfied with D'Onofrio (who certainly ''looked'' the part, but apparently didn't ''sound'' it). As a result, this is probably [=LaMarche's=] straightest-ever performance of Welles. D'Onofrio, meanwhile, shared Burton's dissatisfaction with his performance and would later release [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-4PPr3r_r0 a short film]] (in which he ''does'' voice Welles) in order to improve on it.
* SoBadItsGood[=/=][[DarthWiki/SoBadItsHorrible Horrible]]: In-universe reactions to Ed Wood's work boil down to these two.
* StylisticSuck: Again, this was pretty much inevitable.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Bela, when informed he'll have to wrestle with a rubber octopus that won't even move on its own.
--> ''(sigh)'' "You know I turned down ''Film/{{Frankenstein}}''? ...After I did ''Film/{{Dracula}}'', the studio offered me ''Frankenstein'', but I turned it down. ''That'' wasn't "sexy" enough. [[{{Irony}} Too]] ''[[{{Irony}} degrading]]'' [[{{Irony}} for a big star like me....]]"
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: In-universe: Ed Wood is unshakably convinced that his creations are fine cinema.
* TrueCompanions: By the end of the film you wonder whether Ed Wood's cast and crew stick with him because they genuinely believe in his vision, or because for them it's almost as if they are some deranged form of extended family.
* TheUnintelligible: George "The Animal" Steele had to work with a voice coach to imitate Tor Johnson's voice (although the strange, booming voice he ended up using is somewhat removed from the genuine article). Tor's combination of Swedish accent and jowelly enunciation means he practically mangles every line that Creator/EdWood writes. Not that comprehension is a particularly great loss.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Various facts are manipulated throughout, with Wood's alcoholism and porno-making only brought up in the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue. But fans of Wood still like this film on the grounds that, well, it comes across as the biopic he would have filmed about himself.
** The film also implies that Bela didn't have the resources to get over his drug addiction and dies penniless and alone. In reality, Music/FrankSinatra helped finance his drug treatment and Bela married a woman who gave him emotional support during his stint at the hospital.
** Dolores Fuller comes off the worst in the movie. In real life, she lived with Ed out of wedlock (scandalous even in Hollywood back in the 50's) and adored Bela Lugosi (she was of Hungarian descent herself), cooking him goulash the way he liked it. She only left Ed because his alcoholism and transvestism were obviously not going to get better and wound up with a more successful entertainment career than the rest of his posse.
* ViewersAreMorons: Subverted; while Wood shows a blatant disregard for things like visual continuity and set quality, and justifies this by saying that no-one really pays attention to the smaller details, he does so because he's projecting his own way of watching films onto the audiences, rather than considering them to be... well, morons.
* VillainyFreeVillain: In the DVD commentary, even Burton himself points out that though the Baptist producers are antagonists in the film their point of view is entirely sympathetic and justifiable: They're justly concerned that Wood is spending their money making...well, Plan 9.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue
* [[WhiteDwarfStarlet White Dwarf Star]]: Bela Lugosi.
* WideEyedIdealist: Ed is this all over.
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Ed Wood.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Creator/JohnnyDepp in an angora sweater. Not many people are going to have a problem with that.
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